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H5N1 Confirmed in Niger

Recombinomics Commentary

February 27, 2006

The H5N1 strain was found in domestic ducks near Nigeria's border, the OIE said.

Earlier, Nigeria's Information Minister Frank Nweke announced that the H5N1 strain had been found in two more Nigerian states, taking the total to seven - mostly in the north and centre of the country.

The above confirmation of H5N1 in Niger is not a surprise. As noted, H5N1 has spread throughout Nigeria and infections in all neighbors are expected.  Niger had previously reported bird deaths near its border with Nigeria, so H5N1 confirmation was expected.

Although Niger, Nigeria, and Egypt have report H5N1 in Africa, the migratory paths of the birds, couple with unexplained bird die-offs suggest H5N1 is present throughout Africa.

Failure to detect and report the H5N1 in additional countries in Africa is cause for concern.
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